Jaguar to Introduce Cheaper Models in Bid to Expand Lineup

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Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Land RoverRange Rover Evoque

By Rhys Jones

LONDON -- British luxury carmaker Jaguar will introduce new affordable models in 2015 in a bid to emulate the success of lower cost luxury vehicles made by its sister company, Land Rover, two sources close to the company said Monday.

The new cars will include a compact sedan and crossover SUV -- currently the fastest-growing models in terms of global sales -- and be available in the second half of 2015, one of the sources said.

Jaguar, part of the Jaguar Land Rover group owned by India's Tata Motors, is currently known for two-seater sports cars and large sedans. It will make an official announcement about the new range at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September, the other source said.

A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman said the company wouldn't comment its future product plans at this time.

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The cheaper versions of Land Rover's Evoque small SUV and Freelander are currently among the automaker's top selling models. Analysts said Jaguar's move made sense.

"It's a logical idea to use the momentum from Land Rover and expand the Jaguar range," said IHS Automotive research director Christoph Stuermer." Jaguar is less than half the size of Land Rover so they need to do something, plus investors will like a move downscale."

Jaguar's new models will bring it into direct competition with the likes of Germany's BMW and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz who dominate the market for entry-level luxury vehicles.

Sales at Jaguar Land Rover rose 14 percent in the first half of 2013 to 210,190 cars, helped by fast-growing China -- but less than 20 percent of them came from Jaguar.

The company has roared to health in the four years since Tata Motors bought the group from Ford (F) for $2.3 billion, helped by the growing demand for luxury cars in emerging markets which has helped Jaguar Land Rover buck the trend of plant shutdowns and falling production at many European automakers.

Now the Tata bosses are keen to bring Jaguar up to speed, too, the sources said.

The new family of more affordable Jaguars will be built on production lines previously used to make Land Rover vehicles which are currently being modified at the company's plant in Solihull, central England, one of the sources said.

The new range is likely to be all aluminum, as used for the recent Jaguar XJ model. Jaguar Land Rover last year signed a deal with a Saudi Arabian firm to buy aluminum from one of the world's largest aluminum smelters in the Kingdom.

Jaguar Land Rover said earlier this year it planned to invest 2.75 billion pounds each year for the next four years on new products and production facilities.